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Latest developments in the framework of Solvency

    European Parliament adopts the “Omnibus II” Directive – 11.03.2014

    On 11 March 2014 the European Parliament adopted the “Omnibus II” Directive that completes the “Solvency II” Directive and finalises the new framework for insurance regulation and supervision in the EU.

    Proposal for a Directive postponing the application date of Solvency II – 13.12.2013

    On 2 October 2013, the Commission put forward a draft Directive postponing the application date of the Solvency II Directive to 1 January 2016. This proposal was adopted on 11 December 2013.

    June 2013: EIOPA adopts technical findings on the Long-Term Guarantee Assessment, and Commission services publish a report on EIOPA’s work

    The EIOPA technical findings for the long-term guarantee assessment of 14 June 2013, requested by the Commission and the co-legislators in December 2012, provide an excellent basis for a political agreement on Omnibus 2, according to the Commission in a press release welcoming the EIOPA findings. On 27 June the Commission services (DG MARKT) sent to the co-legislators a report on the EIOPA assessment further underlining this interpretation. The EIOPA findings propose a number of measures (the long-term guarantee package) intended to facilitate the provision of insurance products with long-term guarantees against artificial financial market volatility.

    EIOPA's technical findings for the long-term guarantee assessment is available at: 

    https://eiopa.europa.eu/consultations/qis/insurance/long-term-guarantees-assessment/index.html

    December 2012: EU U.S. Insurance Dialogue outlines the Way Forward

    After a year of intense discussions examining how to facilitate the business environment, increase consumer protection and contribute to more efficient supervision, the Steering Committee of the EU U.S. Dialogue Project has agreed to seven common objectives, each underpinned by several initiatives, which will be further specified in a detailed project plan of activities to be developed in early 2013.

    The Way Forward Document detailing the common objectives and initiatives to be pursued over the next 5 years is available at:

     https://eiopa.europa.eu/publications/protocols/index.html

    The draft factual Report on commonalities and differences between the jurisdictions in key areas of supervision, which was released for public comment in September 2012, has also been updated and is available at:

    https://eiopa.europa.eu/fileadmin/tx_dam/files/publications/reports/EU_US_Dilaogue_Project_Factual_Report.pdfpdf

    December 2012: Letter from Jonathan Faull, Director General Internal Market and Services, to Gabriel Bernardino, Chair of EIOPA, on a technical assessment for Solvency II

    In December 2012, the Commission agreed with the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to ask EIOPA for a technical assessment of the impact of Solvency II on insurance products with long-term guarantees. EIOPA will publish technical specifications for the assessment on its website by the end of January 2013.

    November 2012: Letter from Commissioner Barnier to Gabriel Bernardino, Chair of EIOPA

    In November 2012, the Commission responded to a letter received from Mr Bernardinopdf concerning the timetable for the implementation of the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC). The letter asks EIOPA to focus on a speedy implementation on some of the qualitative aspects of the Solvency II framework, such as effective systems of governance and risk management.

    Public Hearing on the draft factual Report of the EU-US Insurance Regulatory Dialogue Project

    The EU-US Dialogue Project started in early 2012, when the European Commission (EC), EIOPA, the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the Federal Insurance Office of the US Department of the Treasury (FIO) agreed to participate in dialogue and a related project (Project) to contribute to an increased mutual understanding and enhanced cooperation between the European Union and the United States to promote business opportunity, consumer protection and effective supervision. The objective of the Project, which builds on more than a decade of EU-US regulatory dialogue, is to deepen insight into the overall design, function and objectives of the key aspects of the insurance supervisory regimes in the EU and the U.S, and to identify important characteristics of both regimes.

    The EU-US Insurance Regulatory Dialogue Project organises two public hearings on the draft of factual Reportpdf based on the results of the Project’s seven technical committees (TC). The public hearings will take place:

    • In the USA: on Friday, 12 October 2012 at 14.00 – 17.00 EDT at the Grand Hyatt, Washington DC;
    • In Belgium: on Tuesday 16 October 2012 at 10.00 – 13.00 CET (registration from 09.30) at the Centre de Conférences Albert Borschette – Room 3D, 36 Rue Froissart, Brussels

    The number of places is limited, so participation will be on a first confirmed first served basis.

    If you wish to make an oral statement during the hearings, please send your request by 10 October 2012 to:

    Programme for the 16 October Public Hearing in Brussels

    • 10:00 - Welcome by the Chair of the Public Hearing, Karel Van Hulle
    • 10:05 - Coordinated opening statement by Steering Committee Members of the EU US Dialogue Project
    • 10:15 - Oral statements by registered participants
    • 12:50 - Closing remarks

    September 2012: Letter from Jonathan Faull, Director General Internal Market and Services, to Gabriel Bernardino, Chair of EIOPA

    In September 2012, the Commission wrote to EIOPA asking them to examine the Solvency II calibration and design of capital requirements for investments in certain assets relevant to ”long-term finance“ in the EU

    May 2012: Proposal for a Directive amending the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC) as regards the dates of its transposition and application and the date of repeal of certain Directives.

    The deadline for transposition of the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC) is 31 October 2012. This date would be extended by the Omnibus II Directive, for which negotiations are still ongoing. As the negotiations have taken longer than expected, the Omnibus II Directive may not be published before 31 October 2012, when Solvency II is supposed to be transposed.
    In order to avoid that situation, the Commission has adopted on 16 May 2012 a targeted proposal for a Directive that will move the implementation date of Solvency II by Member States to 30 June 2013, and the application date by companies to 1 January 2014.

    February 2012: Third Country Equivalence under Solvency II

    In February 2012, the Commission wrote to EIOPA indicating the list of third countries with which it has informally discussed a potential transitional regime for third country equivalence under Solvency II.

    November 2011: Third Country Equivalence under Solvency II

    In November 2011, the Commission wrote to EIOPA thanking them for their assessments on the equivalence of the Swiss, Bermudan and Japanese solvency and prudential regimes with Solvency II and asking for them to undertake further work in preparation for a transitional regime for third country equivalence.

    March 2011: EIOPA publishes results of Fifth Quantitative Impact Study (QIS5)

    The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published the QIS5 report on 14 March 2011. QIS5 is the fifth and last full quantitative impact study before the Solvency II regime is implemented and the publication of the QIS5 report represents a key milestone in the finalisation of the Solvency II project.

    The Commission has published a press release welcoming the positive QIS5 results, but also acknowledging the need to make refinements to take into account the lessons learnt from the exercise and to reduce the complexity of the system.

    Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said: “Solvency II will introduce on 1 January 2013 a modern, economic and risk-based regulation of insurance and reinsurance in all Member States. The study results are positive and suggest that the vast majority of European insurers will be in a position to meet the new capital requirements under Solvency II. The high participation rate, including amongst SMEs is also encouraging. Final refinements will now be made to take into account the lessons learnt from the exercise and to reduce the complexity of the system.”

    January 2011: EIOPA replaces CEIOPS and the Commission proposes amendments to Solvency II

    As from January 2011 the EU established three new European supervisory authorities (ESAs) and a European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) to replace the former supervisory committees. In the area of insurance and pensions, the EIOPA (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) replaced the CEIOPS (Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors).

    Following the launch of the new supervisory authorities, the Commission adopted a legislative proposal (the “Omnibus II” Directive) further clarifying the powers of the new authorities, particularly in the insurance sector. The Omnibus II Directive includes amendments to the Solvency II Directive.

    October 2010: Equivalence under Solvency II - Letter to CEIOPS

    July 2010: Fifth Quantitative Impact Study: Call for Advice and Technical Specifications

    The Commission services have sent CEIOPS the following Call for Advice along with the final technical specifications for the fifth quantitative impact study on Solvency II (QIS5). European insurance and reinsurance undertakings are being asked to participate in the QIS5 exercise from August to November 2010. CEIOPS will publish the report on the results of the QIS5 exercise in April 2011.

    The Commission services carried out a targeted consultation on a draft version of the QIS5 technical specifications between 15 April and 20 May 2010. This consultation included several meetings with industry stakeholders, CEIOPS representatives and Member States. QIS5 was also discussed at the Public Hearing on Solvency II which took place on 4 May.

    Many of the comments received have been taken on board in updating the QIS5 technical specifications. There have been a number of changes between the draft technical specifications that were consulted on and the final technical specifications. The main changes are set out in the Commission’s letter to CEIOPS also published today.

    June 2010: Third Country Equivalence under Solvency II

    In June 2010, the Commission wrote to CEIOPS regarding the next steps in the Solvency II equivalence workstream.

    May 2010: Public Hearing on Level 2 implementing measures for Solvency II

    The “Internal Market and Services” Directorate General of the European Commission hosted a Public Hearing on Level 2 implementing measures for Solvency II on Tuesday, 4th May 2010, in Brussels.

    The public hearing provided a unique opportunity to hear the views of a range of stakeholders on the key issues relating to Solvency II and was attended by insurance and reinsurance undertakings, supervisory authorities and consumer groups. Over 320 people attended.

    Commissioner Barnier’s opening speech was followed by panel discussions and Q&A on the level 2 implementing measures, QIS5, valuation and pillar II and Ⅲ and equivalence issues. Director General Jörgen Holmquist gave the closing address.

    April 2010: Fifth Quantitative Impact Study: Consultation on Call for Advice and Technical Specifications

    The European Commission has today published for consultation draft technical specifications for the fifth Quantitative Impact Study (QIS5) exercise that will be run from August to November this year.

    The QIS5 consultation package comprises the following documents: